Red Velvet Cupcakes and other sweet treats for Valentine’s Day

Today’s recipe is one that I saw a few weeks ago on Love My Philly.  When I saw it I knew I had to make it for my mom for her birthday which would also allow me to share the recipe with you just in time fore Valentine’s Day.  I did make a slight adaptation to the recipe.  I must say I love a recipe that begins with a cake mix.  It makes life easy and it’s so convenient.  Now, I do know it is hard to locate a red velvet cake mix here in Utah, but I have always been able to locate one at Walmart.  If you can’t find the red velvet mix you can substitute a Betty Crocker German chocolate cake and add 1 oz bottle of red food coloring and 1 Tbsp cocoa powder.

The cupcakes themselves turned out delicious.  You help doctor them up by adding a dry box of pudding mix, which I love.  I love it when you can add another ingredient or two to make the cake mix even better.  They turn out moist and tasty.  Yum!

I used my Demarle straight muffin tray to bake these in, which really makes like easy.  I even put some of the batter in my Demarle mini muffin tray too to make teeny tiny bite sized cupcakes.  Most of you know that I love their products.  This is the stuff that the pros use in restaurants, but you can buy them for home use.  The tray is made of silicone and woven glass.  No need for cupcake liners here.  The pan is completely non-stick.  This is NOT like that other silicone stuff you find in the store.  You just let the cupcakes cool for 10 minutes and pop them right out.  Love them.

Now on to the frosting, I think it just may be my new “go to” cream cheese frosting.  What makes this frosting extra special is the addition of a little cool whip.  LOVE IT!  You still get that yummy delicious cream cheese flavor, but the cool whip adds a nice lightness to the frosting.  You get a winning combination when you put the cake and the frosting together.  I will definitely be making these often. I did encounter one problem, I didn’t have enough frosting to top all my cupcakes cause I like to pile it on high.  Next time I’ll probably make 1 1/2 recipes of frosting in order to have plenty.  However, my son didn’t mind the plain ones because it likes cake without the frosting.

I also used my new “Best Ever Cupcake Icing Kit” that I recently got from Bake It Pretty.  Their jumbo tips are WAY bigger than the usual cake decorating tips.  Their kit make decorating these cupcakes easy and beautiful.  I used the close star tip.  The kit is well worth the investment if you love to make cupcakes like I do. Your cupcakes will look professional.

So celebrate Valentines by giving your loved ones a little sweet treat and if  red velvet cupcakes aren’t your thing here are a few more sweet treat ideas that would also work great for Valentine’s Day.

Brownie Bites – who wouldn’t love brownies topped with ganache in a bite sized form.

Perfect Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream – a great combination of sweet with a little sour.

Perfect Cake Mix Cupcakes topped with Strawberry Jam Butter Cream –  I made these last year for Valentine’s Day.  The bring together the great tastes of chocolate and strawberry.  You could even finish them of with a chocolate dipped strawberry on top.  These screams Valentine’s Day.

Basic White Cupcakes with Coconut Buttercream – if you are feeling kind of nutty they co with this combination.  Clasic white cupcakes finished off with coconut flavored butter cream and toasted coconut.

Moist Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream – a classic of chocolate and chocolate.

Molten Lava Cakes – who doesn’t love a molten lava cake.  I served this to my Hubby for Valentine’s last year.  I love mine served with vanilla ice cream.

Eclairs – my own version using instant pudding mix to help make the filling.

Eclair Torte – an even easy version of an eclair.

Ch0colate Mousse Filled Cream Puffs – these cream puffs are filled with a delicious no cook mousse that is a cinch to make.

Cookie Sundae – this easy dessert starts with a cookie mix.  It’s simple to make but looks impressive.

picture of red velvet cupcakes in box

I found some cute cupcake boxes in December at Michael’s Craft.

picture of red velvet cupcakes

The box is a Mary Engelbreit design. Love Mary Engelbreit. Look how the box says Queen of the Kitchen.

Then it had a cute little queen character on top.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

1  pkg.  (2-layer size) red velvet  cake mix
1 pkg. (3.9 oz.) JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1 pkg. (16 oz.) powdered sugar (about 4 cups)
1 cup thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
1 square BAKER’S White Chocolate, shaved into curls (or whatever you want to go on top such as a chocolate heart or Valentine’s sprinkles)

  1. Prepare cake batter and blend dry pudding mix into batter before spooning into prepared muffin cups. Bake as directed on package for 24 cupcakes. Cool.
  2. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Gradually beat in sugar. Whisk in COOL WHIP. Spoon frosting into small freezer-weight resealable plastic bag; seal bag (or use a cake decorating bag with tip). Cut small corner off bottom of bag and insert tip.
  3. Frost cupcakes with frosting. Top with chocolate curls.(I tried to do chocolate curls.  I used a potato peeler on the square of Baker’s chocolate.  I ended up the more like shaved chocolate, not curls here.  You probably have to do curls the old fashioned way it you want nice curls) Keep refrigerated.

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